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EDB's response to groups promoting "Hong Kong independence" to students
     In response to media enquiries about the promotion of "Hong Kong independence" to students by some groups, a spokesman for the Education Bureau (EDB) said today (November 14):
     The EDB is very concerned about the promotion of "Hong Kong independence" to students by some groups. Actions which promote independence for Hong Kong clearly contravene the Basic Law. We call upon the education sector to stop pro-independence activists from disseminating to students messages which are in violation of the Basic Law. We hope students can learn in a peaceful and safe environment free from interferences. The bureau will provide schools with support as the situation warrants.
     Article 1 of the Basic Law states clearly: "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) is an inalienable part of the People's Republic of China." The Chief Executive has publicly and unequivocally pointed out that "Hong Kong independence" contradicts the HKSAR's constitutional and legal status under the Basic Law.
     The "one country, two systems" is the best institutional arrangement to ensure Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability after our return to the Motherland. Everybody with a passion for Hong Kong has the responsibility to ensure that, here in Hong Kong, "one country, two systems" advances in the right direction, the obligation to say 'no' to any attempt to threaten our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as the duty to nurture our next generation into citizens with a sense of national identity, affection for Hong Kong and a sense of social responsibility.
     Actions promoting "Hong Kong independence" not only undermine the "one country, two systems", contravene the Basic Law and damage relations between the Central People’s Government and the HKSAR, they are also detrimental to the overall and long-term interests of Hong Kong society. They must be stopped.
     School managements have gained considerable experience in handling politicised incidents over the years. School principals and teachers have all along demonstrated professionalism in ensuring that students can study in a safe and peaceful environment and are taught professionally without interferences by messages which contravene the Basic Law. Students are also offered counseling as needed. The bureau will keep in close touch with the education sector and schools and provide support to them when necessary.
     Tertiary institutions are autonomous bodies and the EDB believes that they have the responsibility as well as the ability to deal with incidents on their campuses properly while looking after their students' interests.
Ends/Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Issued at HKT 23:16
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